“Beautifully written… a riveting account of how melodies and rhythms connect us, and help us deal with alienation and anxiety.”―Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score
In this captivating blend of science and memoir, a health journalist and former cellist explores music as a source of health, resilience, connection, and joy.
Music isn’t just background noise or a series of torturous exercises we remember from piano lessons. In the right doses, it can double as a mild antidepressant, painkiller, sleeping pill, memory aid―and enhance athletic performance while supporting healthy aging. Though music has been used as a healing strategy since ancient times, neuroscientists have only recently discovered how melody and rhythm stimulate core memory, motor, and emotion centers in the brain. But here’s the catch: We can tune into music every day and still miss out on some of its potent effects.
Adriana Barton learned the hard way. Starting at age five, she studied the cello for nearly two decades, a pursuit that left her with physical injuries and emotional scars. In Wired for Music, she sets out to discover what music is really for, combing through medical studies, discoveries by pioneering neuroscientists, and research from biology and anthropology. Traveling from state-of-the-art science labs to a remote village in Zimbabwe, her investigation gets to the heart of music’s profound effects on the human body and brain. Blending science and story, Wired for Music shows how our species’ age-old connection to melody and rhythm is wired inside us.
Adriana Barton is a journalist specializing in health research and the author of Wired for Music: A Search for Health and Joy Through the Science of Sound (Greystone Books, 2022). A former health reporter at Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, she has written about medical research, neuroscience, visual arts, architecture, music and pop culture for publications including the Boston Globe, Reader’s Digest, Utne, Azure, Western Living and San Francisco Bay Guardian. She studied the cello for 17 years with teachers including international solo artist Antonio Lysy and former Cleveland Orchestra principal cellist Stephen Geber. Research projects have taken her to Syria, Jordan, India, Cuba, Zimbabwe and Brazil. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Financial: Adriana Barton receives royalties as a published author. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Adriana Barton has no relevant non-financial relationships.
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